The Real Thing: Why Invest in a High-End Rug?
You’re in the market for a high-end rug. Why? With factory-made stuff plastered all over Big Box warehouses and digital marketplaces, buying a trendy rug can be a bit tempting, especially when it sells and ships for less than $100 in under 48 hours.
But you don’t want just a high-end area rug. A rug is not a status symbol (though it can be depending on the company you invite to dinner). You want a piece of the world, in your home. Something in which to nestle your restless feet.
I’ll let you in on a little discovery I made recently.
When I asked a friend for tips on buying a yoga mat, she insisted that I only buy one made with ethical labour and materials, purchased through fair trade agreement, (and assuming it would also be durable enough to withstand regular use). The buzz descriptor for such an item and its buyer is “eco-conscious,” and it doesn’t just apply to the purchase of yoga mats.
My immediate thought was, where can I find such a gem and how much will it cost?
Buying high-end rugs is a bit like buying yoga mats. If you’re not into the ancient Indian practice or its mats, don’t worry. You need only a certain affinity for buying nice things to see the often massive discrepancy in quality. And to realize that quality seems to correlate with ethics when we’re talking about rugs.
Why Not Big Box? The Real Dark Side of the Rug
Big box rug stores, which we all know, but I won’t name, sell absolutely everything you think you may want in a rug. A quick jaunt through one on a given Tuesday afternoon will take you on a trip through any number of exotic countries–or least it appears that way.
You’ll discover rigid shag rugs, thick and scratchy under your the soles of your feet–at least for the first three months until they’re threadbare. They’re woven with boiled cotton and PVC-laden materials and unnatural colours. They shriek of artificiality. They’re made by an energy-sucking-sweatshop assembly line that produces about a hundred uniform rugs each hour. Each one is for sale in those bargain basement Big Box rug shops for the same amount as one of those assembly line worker’s monthly earnings.
I don’t intend to make you feel bad if you’ve ever bought one of those rugs before–I had them all over my house once upon a time. It’s hard not to enjoy getting a nice looking rug (at least for the first three months) for a good price–especially when that rug looks so exotic and so real (from a bit of a distance).
That is the reality. Much of what you see in those massive super-mart warehouse rug giants are not high end rugs. They’re manufactured by assembly line, with low-quality materials, alongside a thousand other rugs and bath mats (possibly yoga mats) that look just like it.
There’s nothing original, ethical, or authentic about mass-produced rugs.
Your home is a unique place: A portrayal of how you like to live and what you love. Arguably, there is no greater representation of our inner world than the arrangement of our most intimate outer world–our home.
Choose plush, silk fibres, buttery under the soles of your feet, marked and made with unique, homespun design. From raw materials harvested in wild places, crafted by a skillful set of hands. Naturally variegated because they were dyed with organic inks by local people (whether Moroccan, Persian, East Asian, etc.) for a fair price. A high-end area rug is a symbolically-rich tapestry of culture, comfort, and beauty.
Boutiques like Mellah can’t match Big Box prices when it comes to rugs, but we don’t want to. We want to share the real thing.